Tag Archives: m/m romance

witches for Hire

Book Review: Witches For Hire, by Sam Argent

I’m not sure where I got Witches For Hire, by Sam Argent. It’s been resting in my Caliber file since 2017 though. So, I suspect I picked it up during one of DSP’ events. But I wouldn’t swear to that, only that I came by it legitimately.

Witches For HireAll recovering drug addict and witch Jeremy Ragsdale wants is to shamble on to the next job without any disasters. Instead, the temp agency saddles him with a fellow witch who hates him, an Amazon one violent outburst away from deportation, and a knight from another world as his boss. Even worse, their jack-of-all-trades magic business stumbles upon a conspiracy to kill Desmond the Great, Atlanta’s sexy star magician. Jeremy must prevent it without letting his colleagues know that he not only has ties to the energy vampires behind the plot, but that his past misdeeds might have instigated the attacks.

Despite Jeremy sporting a suit and tie like a good witch, his lies snowball to bite him in the ass. The lack of trust brewing between him and his teammates could cost Desmond his life and Jeremy his progress on the straight and narrow path if his secrets are revealed. Because no matter how much Jeremy has reformed, there’s still enough bad witch in him to kill anyone who messes with him or the people he cares about.

I had a truly odd experience reading Witches For Hire. The book has an awesome cover and blurb (though much of the blurb, while accurate, is irrelevant to the story). I liked the characters. I enjoyed the humor. I liked the voice or tone of the storytelling. The writing was mechanically competent and I don’t remember any big editing mishaps. By all accounts I should have adored this book.

But…and it’s a big but…the book would do well as a second or third book in a series. It does not, however, do well as a first. There was so much missing backstory that was hinted at throughout, and world-building that was left hazy, at best, that I spent most of the book asking “what is happening” and considering DNFing it.

I can’t count how many times I went online to check if there was a prequel or if this was a spin-off from another series. As far as I can tell there isn’t and it isn’t. It really is a first in a series, all on it’s own. And as much as I wanted to love it, the stingy was information was doled out, one frustrating crumb at a time, was a style that didn’t work for me.

The thing is though, there was so much I did like (even if not enough to rescue this book) that I’d be willing to give an Argent book another chance. Like I said, odd.

the scouts banner

Book Review: The Scouts, by Kasia Bacon

The Scouts, by Kasia Bacon, was promoed on Sadie’s Spotlight and the author sent me a copy for review.


Lochan and Ervyn—an assassin and a sharpshooter—remain in service to the queen as part of an elite reconnaissance unit.

The Scouts are ghostlike. Elusive. Deadly.

They strike at enemies of the Crown without mercy. They get the job done, leaving no loose ends or witnesses. When Magic Supremacists threaten the safety of Elven Country, they do their duty—whatever it takes.

Lochan and Ervyn belong to each other, but will serving together as comrades-in-arms strengthen their bond as lovers or tear them apart?

The Scouts is the third book in the Order Series. In this volume, Ervyn loses control, Lochan stops fighting his feelings and Verhan… well, remains Verhan.

my review

Oh, I have such a fraught relationship with Bacon’s writing. I love her characters and jovially informal narrative style. But I’m a dedicated binger. Be it reading a novel in a night or watching an entire season of a show on Netflix, I want all of a story. And Bacon’s publications are far closer to a serial than a series, in my estimation, which I find incredibly frustrating.

I say all of that because it would be unfair to judge my review of her works without factoring in this strong preference on my part. But I do still keep coming back, even when I know what to expect. Because these short works are also full of the feels and, as I said, I like the characters and writing style. I’ll add world too. I find the world, with all it’s Elvin races and cultural norms intriguing.

I did find the occasional phrase felt anachronistic and there are quite a lot of characters for such a short book. But those are my only critiques. No doubt, when next Bacon publishes, I’ll be in in line to read it too.

the hunter and the spider

Book Review: The Hunter and the Spider series, by E.M. Jeanmougin & Jay Wright

I picked up copies of E.M. Jeanmougin and Jay Wright’s Strangers in the Night and Friends in Low Places (The Hunder and the Spider series, #1 & 2) when they were freebies on Amazon. I’m afraid of spiders, so the idea of an MM Urban Fantasy with a werespider both horrified and intrigued me!

Where there’s demons, there’s bound to be demon hunters and in Brooklyn there’s no shortage of either.

Jasper Craig is a hunter at New York’s secret St. James Academy, and he’s one of the best. With superior strength, agility, and a handy ability to sense demonic energy, it’s like he was born for the job. Since he was orphaned at a young age, his parents took the secret of what, exactly, he is to their graves. And if his adoptive father knows, he’s not telling.

Loyal to the cause of keeping the mortal world safe from the evils of demons, there isn’t anything Jasper wouldn’t do. So when his father and superior officer tells him to go undercover to trick a rare and dangerous werespider, Jasper agrees.

Crimson Apocalypse is one of New York’s oldest residents and the only known werespider in the north eastern United States. He’s the sort of guy who lives as fast as he talks and talks as fast as he drives, and if Jasper wants to get closer to the werespider he’s going to have to keep up.

But getting closer might be dangerous in more ways than one and what Jasper learns may not be what he expects.

my review

This had a strong start, sagged in the middle, and then ended well. Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed all of it, even the saggy middle. I liked Jasper and Crimson (and Al and Max) a lot and loved the slow-SLOW burn of their relationship. But the book doesn’t have one over-arching plot or villain to defeat, etc. It’s mostly two people who meet, are given a reason to be thrown together, and then go about their daily lives together. It just so happens that those lives are quite exciting. It just felt like the middle went on a little too long and got a little too creative (ridiculous) before finally tapering off to a cliffhanger ending. I am jumping right into book two though, so I obviously liked it (even if I’m afraid of spiders and therefor a little horrified by the giant werespider).

friends in low places

No one ever said being a Hunter would be easy, but Jasper Craig is finding it much more difficult these days.

Following the events of an eye-opening summer spent in the field, Jasper is back within the walls of St. James Academy – New York City’s world-renowned Hunting agency and training school.

And he’s hating every minute of it.

Unfortunately, the only way out is through, and so, with all eyes on him, Jasper once again rejoins the ranks of Hunters keeping the city “safe” from demonic threat.

But St. James’ dogma has lost its luster for Jasper. Not every demon deserves to die due to their inhumanity. Jasper’s (ex?) boyfriend, Crimson Apocalypse, taught him that.

Speaking of Crimson, when a series of mutilated corpses bearing Jasper’s name begin showing up around town, the Hunters suspect the three-thousand-year-old werespider may be to blame. Even worse, there’s plenty of evidence to support the claim. Only Jasper, who knows the man within the monster, believes otherwise. But can he slip through St. James’ iron-clad grip and catch the real culprit before it’s too late?

my review

I enjoyed this, though not as much as book one, and more in the second half than the first. The problem, for me, was that the two main characters aren’t together in the book until the 55% mark. They are apart and miserable that whole time, and it felt longer than need be to make the point it was making. However, once they got back together and the pace picked up, I was a happier camper. The whole thing wrapped up satisfactorily, but with several open threads. I look forward to finding out what happens in the next book (whenever it comes out).